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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) Questions about the Muzychuk - Pogonina match (Read 3805 times)
DenVerdsligeRejsende
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Re: Questions about the Muzychuk - Pogonina match
Reply #10 - 04/09/15 at 18:45:44
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Personally, Pogonina I trodde was in a best position in the last game, must-win situation with Black. If I were in that position, I would have all of the confidence Smiley Muzychuk was in the position to have to draw with White, so most logical is to play something extra-sharp.

Even if she did not know Muzychuk in terms of chess, in the fourth game she knew that she had to win after having some experience already playing her three times just before. I would think that if anyone is in that position, they have to go all-in and throw their dice. I werkly do not see the difference between trying to scrape a draw in a must-win position if a draw is a tournament loss. To care about rating would be my only possibility that would be the reason, and I doubt that either player would care much about rating losses in exchange for winning the final.
  
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Othy
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Re: Questions about the Muzychuk - Pogonina match
Reply #9 - 04/09/15 at 17:15:10
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Stigma wrote on 04/09/15 at 08:14:11:
1...e5 is already a broadening of the repertoire though; I thought Pogonina was a Dragon and Benko specialist.

But that view is likely a few years out of date. I didn't have time to follow the world championship either, sadly.


This was indeed right. The Dragon seemed to be the mainstay of her repertoire back in 2008. She mixed some 1...e5 into her games back then, but from 2009 onward she has been almost exclusively a 1...e5 player. Six years of theory in the Sicilian is a lot to make up. I don't fault her for sticking to her guns. It was the Ruy Lopez surprise that threw her off and caused her to retreat to the Breyer (thanks for the interview, Jupp) for fear of running into preparation.

If the format was different then I would expect her to plan some greater diversity. A planned match with a few months of preparation specifically for Muzychuk would have made the Sicilian a potentially strong choice. But with this knockout format where she couldn't know her she would face if she made it to the final and no time for special preparation... sticking to 1...e5 seemed like the practical decision.
  
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Re: Questions about the Muzychuk - Pogonina match
Reply #8 - 04/09/15 at 15:15:24
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Is it too early to speculate on the upcoming match between Mariya Muzychuk and Hou Yifan? I can't help but wonder if there's any truth to an idea that suggests Mariya Muzychuk can't be taken seriously as the Women's Champion until or if Mariya Muzychuk validates her victory at Sochi with her upcoming match with Hou Yifan in October?
  
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Re: Questions about the Muzychuk - Pogonina match
Reply #7 - 04/09/15 at 11:34:34
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http://sochi2015.fide.com/en/main-page/501-natalia-pogonina-it-was-hard-to-find-...
Pogonina answers shortly. You can find Muzychuk around there too.
  

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Re: Questions about the Muzychuk - Pogonina match
Reply #6 - 04/09/15 at 08:14:11
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1...e5 is already a broadening of the repertoire though; I thought Pogonina was a Dragon and Benko specialist.

But that view is likely a few years out of date. I didn't have time to follow the world championship either, sadly.
  

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Re: Questions about the Muzychuk - Pogonina match
Reply #5 - 04/09/15 at 06:34:36
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Pogonina has a very narrow repertoire against 1.e4, and has responded with 1...e5 exclusively against it for years (just checking chessgames.com, her last attempt at an opening surprise was to use a Sicilian in the 2012 Women's World Championships).

I imagine this was simply a matter of playing a stable opening with which she had good experience. It was only the second game of the match and Pogonina's match strategy did not likely involve taking too many risks to try and win as Black at that stage. A solid position which she could hold for a draw would be satisfactory, then she could push to win with White in game 3.

It's really too bad Pogonina did not participate in the press conference after the second game, otherwise she may have offered a comment about her opening decision (without revealing too much to harm the rest of the match of course).
  
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Re: Questions about the Muzychuk - Pogonina match
Reply #4 - 04/09/15 at 06:16:04
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DenVerdsligeRejsende wrote on 04/09/15 at 03:55:40:
Even with the French Exchange, if you have Berg's latest book, he has some ambitious lines with ...0-0-0, so it could even be a bad thing to try to draw even if draw wins the match. Playing for a draw, especially in a symmetrical pawn structure, when you need a draw can backfire badly psychologically when you face an initiative.


But of course ...0-0-0 as a serious possibility in the Exchange by far predates Berg.  I recall Konca and Przewoznik advocating such play in a book a couple of decades ago.  Reuben Fine gave 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.ed ed 4.Bd3 Nc6 5.c3 Bd6 6.Nf3 Nge7 7.O-O Bg4 8.Re1 Qd7 9.Nbd2 O-O-O (I seem to recall Berg outplaying a younger countryman from a perhaps equal position in this line in the 2000s) as leading to equality about 70 years ago.
  
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DenVerdsligeRejsende
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Re: Questions about the Muzychuk - Pogonina match
Reply #3 - 04/09/15 at 03:55:40
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I am not very familiar with the opening styles with either player, but I did used to read Pogoning's chess blog a while ago. I saw a lot of 1...e5 games, so I have a feeling that she just plays this regardless of the tournament situation. I think that more flexibility is required for the World Championship, and definitely the final.

Even with the French Exchange, if you have Berg's latest book, he has some ambitious lines with ...0-0-0, so it could even be a bad thing to try to draw even if draw wins the match. Playing for a draw, especially in a symmetrical pawn structure, when you need a draw can backfire badly psychologically when you face an initiative.

The Classical Pirc is definitely not really fear of draw, in fact even some lines still have all of the pieces and pawns on the board by move 15. The better play should win, although that was another problem, that Pogonina seemed to just get bad positions on the board in the final regardless of the opening.
  
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Re: Questions about the Muzychuk - Pogonina match
Reply #2 - 04/09/15 at 03:19:48
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You mentioned the French and I was really curious to see how Mariya Muzychuk would have responded to that. I think she would have gone for the French Exchange assuming she hadn't been fully prepared to fight it out on the Winawer. Ironically, Mariya Muzychuk's choice to use the Four Knight's Scotch would have helped her had Natalia Pogonina gone for the Sicilian. I think the reason is because Mariya Muzychuk could have transposed to the Classical Sicilian line since she wouldn't have replied to Black's d6 with d4 and simply answered with Nc3. Muzychuk's Four Knight's Scotch would also have come in handy had Pogonina chose the Modern/Pirc move order as well since Nc3 transposes to the classical setup in the Pirc.
  
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Re: Questions about the Muzychuk - Pogonina match
Reply #1 - 04/09/15 at 02:33:00
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I am more surprised that Pogonina chose 1...e5 again. I thought that her opening choices were too predictable. There is nothing wrong with the Breyer or the Scotch for Black because I think that Black can equalise fairly easily in both, but in terms of winning at all costs, something like the Pirc/Modern, Alekhine, or French with Winawer would make more sense.

I am no contender for any championship, but this is one reason that I play four openings against 1. e4. I take a pick from one opening in my pool depending on what the tournament and/or opponent is. I thought that surely most top level players do this regularly, especially for a final.

In terms of sport, I think that the strange endgame draw with Harika to give 1,5-0,5 was what gave more momentum, if that can be said, to Muzychuk. I wonder what Muzychuk would have done if Pogonina chose the Pirc or Alekhine in the last game.

The fact that it was not only 1...e5, but always 2...Nc6, with the aim of playing the Spanish makes me think that it was pre-planned preparation. But even then making a big shift in a must win situation is a risk that I would think that she had to take. A draw was effectively a loss, så she had to enter a position where only two results were possible: a win or loss. She was guaranteed second place regardless.
  
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Questions about the Muzychuk - Pogonina match
04/09/15 at 01:37:56
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I'd like to discuss a few things about this match that recently concluded at Sochi, Russia. Congrats to newly minted GM Mariya Muzychuk on her victory to becoming the new Women's World chess champion. But my questions about the match involves the choice of opening used in the second game...the decisive one.

I was very surprised that Mariya Muzychuk chose the Ruy Lopez. Specifically I was puzzled by her decision to choose the e4 opening. It was a bold move for sure but it was also very risky. She risked facing a surprise from Natalia Pogonina who might have responded with say, the Sicilian Defense, the French, the Caro-Kann, or even the Philador or the Pirc/Modern.

My question is this: did Mariya Muzychuk base her opening choice on psychology or an informed decision specifically chosen to deploy against Natalia Pogonina just for this match? For instance, Mariya Muzychuk could have transposed immediately to the Four Knight's Scotch Game with 3.Nc3. If she had done that I wouldn't have faulted her decision had she taken that route...because Mariya Muzychuk is known for liking to play the Four Knight's Scotch as White. But she chose the Ruy Lopez instead.

This brings up another question...specifically Natalia Pogonina's decision to respond by playing the Brayer variation. Was this opening choice just a coincidence because if I'm not mistaken...World Champion Magnus Carlsen also likes using the Brayer variation when facing the Ruy Lopez. In this case, my question about Natalia Pogonina's choice is whether or not her opening reply was prepared before the match started regardless of who she might have faced in the final?
  
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